The Denmark-based online brokerage and bank operator known by its Saxo Bank brand name, today had its Saxo Capital Markets division in Australia announce the appointment of Ben Smoker as the new CEO for its Australian business, according to a company press release. Mr. Smoker departs from GAIN Capital Australia, to take on the new role at the helm of Saxo’s operations in Sydney.
In addition, Nik Kritikos was appointed as the new local Head of Saxo’s institutional business in Australia, as part of the update as the company aims to bolster its local leadership in the country. Finance Magnates had written about another senior switch in the industry in Australia earlier in the first quarter in an related post.
The company’s regional CEO, Adam Reynolds of Saxo Capital Markets Asia-Pacific (APAC), commented that the new appointments mirror the group’s global strategy to grow its product suite for institutional clients, including prime-brokerage (PB) and related white-labels.
Institutional in focus
He said: “Our main goal in the institutional space is to facilitate and grow existing partner relationships and to enhance our position as a leading Fintech innovator and enabler of new business in this dynamic market. Ben and Nik’s leadership and experience will no doubt resonate with clients and further strengthen the local institutional business, as well as our well established private client offer.”
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Mr. Reynolds further commented in the press release: “The needs of institutional clients are constantly evolving, and Fintech disruption is impacting the financial services industry at a rapid pace. Saxo is well placed to support a variety of institutional market segments including both the disrupters and the disrupted in this evolving environment, including retail banks, brokers, advisers and the growing realm of local asset managers in Australia,”
Departs GAIN Capital Australia
Mr. Smoker brings over two decades of experience in financial services and was previously country head of GAIN Capital Australia from November 2012 to the present – as per a related LinkedIn profile, and had a number of prior roles including as Head of Sales Trading for Equity Derivatives and Structured Products at Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS).
Mr. Kritikos was previously an Executive Director of Global Cash Equities for JP Morgan while working in Hong Kong, New York and Australia, and according to the update he will work closely with Mr. Smoker in driving the growth of the Australian operations while supporting the brand’s global institutional business.
He is listed as being in the new role since April of this year according to a LinkedIn profile description which also lists that he holds multiple securities licences across related jurisdictions where he held prior roles, and that he obtained a Bachelors of Business from the University of Sydney earlier in his career.